The heart of Amsterdam is de Dam Square. The name comes from the dam on the Amstel River, which laid the foundation for the development of the city and the center of the capital of the Netherlands.
The construction of the dam dates back to around 1270. She connected two small fishing villages. It is from this moment that the city begins its growth and development, it becomes the center of crafts and trade.
The dam was constantly strengthened and expanded. It has grown to such an extent that it gradually turned into two fairly wide squares, Middeldam and Platse. Since the squares adjoined the place of mooring of fishing vessels, then a few meters from a kind of pier, one of the largest fish markets was formed, where you could buy the gifts of the rivers and the sea in any quantity.
In addition, the squares are gradually turning into the center of the city's political and economic life. The town hall was also erected there. In addition to the administrative building, the following were also built on the square:
- Weight, which had to be demolished in 1808. by the will of the first ruler of Amsterdam, Louis Bonoparte (the building prevented him from admiring his possessions from the royal balcony).
- Zocher Stock Exchange (1837), built on the territory that was reclaimed from the water and allowed to significantly expand the area. But it did not last even a century - with the development of the Stock Market, trading in shares was firmly entrenched on the Berlage Stock Exchange, and the building itself was demolished.
- In 1914, this place was already dominated by one of the largest department stores of the time, De Bijenkorf.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, an area of about 11,500 sq. m. becomes not only the center of the city, but actually turns into the heart of the Netherlands, where the most significant events and events take place - fairs, festivals, ceremonies, as well as demonstrations and protests.
Dam Square is a mecca for tourists. Anyone who has visited the capital of the Netherlands at least once will definitely bring some wonderful photos, capturing himself and his friends against the backdrop of attractions.
The modern Dam Square is:
- Royal Palacetowering in the western part of the square. The building is the embodiment of neoclassicism, from the 17th to the early 19th centuries it housed the city hall, then it became the residence of the ruling dynasty. Today King Willem - Alexander is in charge of the palace. In 2009, the building was reconstructed, and today, when members of the royal family are absent, anyone can see most of the apartments.
- New church, built in the 15th century, to replace the Old, which by this time did not accommodate all the parishioners. The building is built in the Gothic style and is one of the oldest architectural monuments. Since 1979, it has lost its main theological function. It houses traveling exhibitions of artists and organ plays. If you want to visit one of the organ concerts so beloved by the Dutch, then you should take care of the tickets in advance.
- Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, one of the brightest and most famous museums in the world. The building itself organically fits into the architectural ensemble of the square and is its decoration.
- National monument, located in the center of the square, was erected in 1956 in honor of the Dutch soldiers of the Second World War. The author of the project is the architect Jacobus Oud. Every spring, on the Day of Remembrance of the Dead, members of the royal family and leaders of the state, as well as guests and residents of the country, lay flowers and wreaths on it. The square itself is a symbol of cruelty: on May 8, 1945, on the day of the overthrow of the fascist regime, the square was filled with a jubilant crowd. But the fun was interrupted by a burst of machine-gun fire. The Nazis put a machine gun on the roof of one of the houses and opened fire on the residents celebrating the victory. Sources say 22 people died and 120 were seriously injured that evening.
- Attractions that also work at night: Ferris wheel, shooting gallery for children, carousel.
A webcam is installed on Dam Square, which broadcasts online 24 hours a day.